Online Program

Tackling Food Insecurity in Orange County, CA: Waste Not OC Coalition

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Eric G. Handler, MD, MPH, FAAP, Deputy Agency Director/Public Health Officer, Orange County Health Care Agency, Santa Ana, CA
The purpose of this session is to introduce the Waste Not OC Coalition (WNOC), an innovative public/private collaborative in Orange County, California and describe specific ways in which other counties can replicate WNOC’s efforts. WNOC was formed with the goal of eliminating hunger and reducing food waste by facilitating the donation of wholesome surplus food from food producing facilities to local pantries. WNOC has recovered 42.7 tons of excess high quality food equating to approximately 71,167 meals going directly to those who need it between July and December 2014. The overall vision of the coalition is to end hunger in Orange County using a three pronged approach: educating the community about food donations, identifying food insecure individuals, and connecting those individuals to sources of food. Approximately 400,000 people food insecurity in Orange County, which is often perceived as an affluent community. The role that cross-sector relationships play in the fight against food insecurity will be emphasized, such as school districts, local hospitals, the restaurant industry, and specifically the environmental health inspectors in Orange County who reach out and dispel myths that hinder food donations. Some additional resources and tools presented will include the Orange County Environmental Health’s educational outreach bulletin (which has been adopted by five surrounding counties), the WNOC toolkit, and the Google map of pantries. The audience will leave the session with the resources to start a similar coalition in their community, and understand what is necessary to increase food donations to food pantries in order to alleviate hunger and reduce food waste.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify at least 5 key community organizations and/or individuals to call upon when forming a coalition like Waste Not OC. List the three pronged approach that Orange County is using to end hunger. Discuss the perceived barriers to food donation as it applies to local businesses. Describe the Good Samaritan Food Donation law.

Keyword(s): Food Security, Health Disparities/Inequities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-founder of the Waste Not OC Coalition and a pediatrician who understands the deep negative effects that hunger has on child development. I have also been a public advocate for the under served population in Orange County, specifically the homeless population, since 2008.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.